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The following article written by Lucia Cervilla is from the October 2015 issue of Bendum News. Bendum News is a publication of the Apu Palamguwan Cultural Education Center (APC), a community-based, Jesuit-run, DepED-recognized elementary school for children on the border of Bukidnon and Agusan del Sur provinces in Mindanao, Philippines. APC is part of MPI's broader network, with some of their staff being alumni of MPI's Annual Peacebuilding Training.
|Lucía is a young professional from Spain who volunteered in Bendum last July 2015. She shares her reflections in Ecojesuit about her brief engagement in Bendum.|
The Island of Mindanao is often seen today as a place of conflict. The discussions are all about armed groups and encounters but little attention is given to how people build peace on a daily basis. We need to realize that peace is generated within people and not given to them from a power outside, and we need occasions to high-light and give substance to local peaceful initiatives.
Various traditions have emerged and it is clear in Bukidnon’s history that the Pulangiyen, now often amalgamated into a broader culture of Bukid-non, has a particular tradition of peace-making. The culture has a process of “pulang” based on a willingness to sit each other and listen to the conflicting responses. Peace is often established by leniency and a quiet recognition, in the spiritual context of an ancestry that is shared and connects us with the same Creator.
Following in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., famous leader of the American nonviolence movement for Civil Rights, two professors from the United States visited St. Joseph College on January 25 to conduct an introductory training in Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation. Dr. Paul Bueno de Mesquita, Director of the Center for Nonviolence and Peace Studies at the University of Rhode Island, joined by his wife and fellow nonviolence co-trainer, Professor Kay Johnson-Bueno de Mesquita, instructed more than 500 students in the philosophy and principles of Dr. King, who was heavily influenced by Mahatma Gandhi.
While addressing the gathering Rev. Dr. C. P. Anto the director of Peace Channel and Principal NEISSR said that we need to capacitate the youth and adult on peace building, conflict resolutions and techniques of conflict transformation like peace education, dialogue negotiation etc.,. He also stressed on the role of government and nongovernment organization in the process of finding solutions for the existing conflicts and preventing future conflicts. He gave the importance of ‘Peace Education’ in the context of Nagaland. It is the means to accept and respect the differences and fight for all forms of exclusivists thinking.